So, you cheated on your boyfriend. You’re probably freaking out and wondering what to do next. Cheating is very damaging to almost any relationship it affects. Even so, there are ways to move past cheating and onto a happy life. Here’s what to do if you cheated.
What To Do After Cheating On Your Boyfriend
It’s like the old saying: breaking trust in your relationship is like crumpling up a piece of paper. You can try to flatten it out again, but it will never be good-as-new. Once you’ve cheated, there’s no undoing it. Even if it’s tempting, in the present moment, pretending it didn’t happen or hiding it will leave you regretting it down the road. It may seem like all hope is lost, but in reality, cheating can help you discover issues in your relationship and find ways to solve them. Every struggle and conflict is an opportunity to learn and grow as a couple. While cheating is definitely not an acceptable course of action, it can help you evaluate how to move forward and improve your relationship.
Identify Why You Cheated.
We know that there are many reasons why people cheat. You’ll need to spend some time figuring out exactly why you cheated. Identifying why you cheated may require some introspection and will definitely rely on self-awareness. Understanding why you cheated is the first step to coming to terms with what happened and how you are going to move forward. If you’re struggling with this, talking it out with a therapist or even a trusted family member or friend can help you process your emotions.
Take Responsibility And Listen
Your partner is likely to need a lot of care and reassurance at this time. Listen to them as they identify and express their needs. Be clear about where you stand with your relationship and why you’ve found yourself in this position. Make sure that you understand the scope of what you’ve done and why repeating it is out of the question. Help your partner understand that you take responsibility for what happened. Be understanding and open to their thoughts and feelings when they’re ready to express them.
Don’t Fear Time Apart
There’s a good chance that both you and your partner will be afraid of the relationship ending at this time. The truth is that when tensions are high, it’s not always the best time to process your emotions together. Don’t fear taking time to yourselves to calm down and think about where you stand. According to Nawal Alomari, a licensed clinical professional counselor, “It’s like getting hired for a job that you know you’re not going to do well.” She told Bustle, “Why run yourself through the dirt? Take time to develop your skills romantically.” Even if you choose not to take a real “break,” don’t put pressure on yourself or your partner to get over things quickly. Give yourselves space to heal, talk through things, and process.
Check In On Yourself And Your Partner
We all know that communication is one of the most important ingredients for a successful relationship. It’s also the key to getting through trust issues. Make sure to make a point of staying aware of what you’re feeling like the relationship dynamic shifts. You should also consistently check in on your partner to see how they’re feeling. Sexologist Jess O’Reilly even recommends having monthly check-ins to make sure you both have opportunities to share how you’re feeling without being in the middle of an argument.
When you hear “couples therapy,” you probably think of a couple who’s been married for years. In reality, couples therapy can benefit any and every couple. It will also be beneficial for you and your partner to attend therapy on your own to get a grasp of what’s going on.
Can Relationships Recover After Cheating?
Cheating changes your relationship dynamic, and it can be difficult and sometimes impossible to get it back to a place that satisfies you both. Still, just because bouncing back takes work and commitment, it’s not an impossible feat. Some relationships can persevere, and overcoming difficult periods in your relationship can be the key to building long-lasting love. (Just look at how Beyoncé bounced back after Lemonade!).
As painful as it may be, cheating may be an indication that the relationship has run its course. If you and your partner both decide to move forward together, it’s time to get to work repairing your dynamic. You should start by cutting off contact with the person you cheated with. You may want to take it a step further and block them on social media. With this, you’ll need to make a promise to your partner and yourself that you won’t repeat what happened. As you navigate repairing your relationship, don’t be afraid to go to therapy or try new things. The most important part of moving forward is identifying what you both want and being open and honest about everything.